Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Financial Services for Sex Workers
Academics like me have access to a "Save More Tomorrow" plan, in which we can overcome our usual present-bias in an attractive, painless manner and move our savings rate closer to what our long-run selves think is desirable. Most people are not so fortuitously situated. Commercial sex workers, who can earn substantial sums, often have a hard time saving money, for various reasons. First, they might be caught up in a high expense lifestyle, perhaps including substantial expenditures on alcohol and other drugs. Second, they might face demands (even extortionate ones) from those who recognize that sex workers might have some cash hanging about. For these and other reasons, I think that a robust policy towards prostitution generally should include access to financial counseling, along with help for alcohol and other drug abuse.
Via Tyler at Marginal Revolution, we learn of a bank that promotes savings accounts for sex workers in India. The bank even facilitates savings by sending employees around to pick up deposits. Here's the BBC story.
Vice Squad noted back in September that Hungary was providing financial planning services to sex workers.